Time for school

Tomorrow marks a new chapter in Zoe’s life. She’ll start elementary school. I can’t believe time has gone by so quickly. Here I am on the doorstep to one of the most exciting and equally frightening beginning of an important chapter in my daughter’s life.

I wonder what it’ll be like for her. I remember vaguely I couldn’t wait to start school. I picked up writing when I was four. My grandparents used to have a huge blackboard put up by the kitchen. I remember grandpa writing down all sorts of orders for his food business and grandma would make sticky rice buns while reading the board. Whenever there was a little space on that board, I would quickly drop my toys, grab a piece of chalk and try to mimic grandpa’s handwriting. Of course, to this day, my penmanship does not compare to his but then again, he’s several decades ahead of me. When my aunts noticed this, I was quickly put next to them as they did their homework and I tried to mimic them. That fire was never extinguished and once I got to start elementary school, I was thrilled. I finally had access to unlimited knowledge. My upbringing taught me many things and one thing that keeps recurring in my head is that knowledge is power and you can never have enough of it. I was like a sponge, even in subjects that I struggled with. By third grade, I was terrible at English and I swore I would be the best of my class before 6th grade. An achievement I reached and by 7th grade, I was put in Mr Miller’s English class, the best one in my school. My competitive nature had me finishing cursive handwriting the same week it was introduced to my class.

I don’t know what drove me. I just know that a fire was lit and I was in the middle of it. It burned fiercely and it still does to this day. I don’t even know how I retained it. I never was encouraged at home to do well in school, at least not in the way you’d expect it to be. I could come home with 100% on any test and I would be met with you only got 100%? Acing tests and finishing top of my class was never enough, maybe that combined with my competitive nature made me want to learn more and do better, or whatever is the equivalent to being the best of your class. I also remember being ashamed for coming home with a 96% result. The first time it happened, I was seriously thinking of ways to erase it from existence. I don’t want this for Zoe. I don’t want her to feel fear of showing me any results that aren’t 100%. I don’t know how to enforce her curiosity without throwing her off of it. I want to lit the same fire in her that I had. I know she has it because I see it every day. I just don’t know how to do it without triggering the lazy nerve that she has as well. I know she’s competitive but I also don’t want to be the type that goes When I was your age… That’s not at all inspiring.

I am thankful, though, that she will have something I never had. She has parents that are capable of helping her with her homework. I mean, she’ll have the full support she’ll ever need. Or at least until she is in high school and needs help with logarithms, that’ll be my exit cue.

I know I want to be the one she looks up to and says Mom, because of you, I didn’t give up. She’s the one. I just don’t know how.

//Cae; I know, I know, worrying about it makes me a better person 


A divided decision

3 weeks have passed since Serah came to us. Training has paid off, she listens whenever we tell her no, knows her commands and has improved a great deal when walking on the leash. She does turn deaf when she plays with other dogs, though. That’s alright, she’s still a pup. She’s very sneaky, too. She’s not allowed on the couch and she knows it, yet she seizes every opportunity to jump up on it and then look all innocent when we catch her. Most the time, we don’t need to tell her off, she’d jump off on her own and then give you the saddest puppy face on the planet before laying down in her own bed.

During the time Serah’s been here, I have loved 90% of it. Finally having a dog feels amazing. Actually, it feels more than amazing even though it didn’t really turn out the way I wanted (I want a shiba, remember?). I haven’t felt any anger when I’m bored since Serah came. I’ve always had something to do. Zoe is very independent, so a dog fills the gaps where I feel I really want to do something. Whenever I’m bored, I could just train with Serah. She’s very eager to please, which has made our training sessions very easy.

However, I can’t say the same about my family. Patience have been shortened and there haven’t been much understanding to the fact that Serah is a puppy. Zoe has a few phrases on repeat whenever Serah’s around.
I’m scared of Serah. Does she have to live here? Can Haylee live here instead? Haylee can sleep in my bed. Serah’s too big. I love small dogs, like Haylee. 

Haylee is a chihuahua our beloved friends have. She’s indeed adorable, but a wee bit too small for my taste. I understand Zoe, though. It is intimidating to have a dog that’s about twice your body size and it isn’t very helpful knowing the dog will only grow bigger and much faster than Zoe does.
For two and a half weeks, the Dutchman and I have sat down every day, several times a day, with Zoe and Serah and have them become more accustomed to each other. We’ve put up a gate to Zoe’s room to help the progress. Serah keeps laying outside said gate, wagging her tail, hoping Zoe will come play. But Zoe just ignores or teases from the other side. We’ve also tried walking Serah with Zoe, playing out- and indoors with everyone involved and tried doing simple tricks. None of these work and what has happened is that Zoe even more repeats her phrases.

Now, we feel like we have two options. Either return Serah to the adoption bureau, in which case she will again go to a foster family, or keep her and try to make the best of it. Chances are, though, that Zoe will forever emphasise the size of the dog. I’m very divided. I’m a mother, first hand and that makes me feel like I need to listen to my child no matter what. That includes if I have to take the fall (of feeling bad for giving up the dog) if it means Zoe will feel better. The Dutchman seem to have little problem with this aspect, less than I do at least. An equal part of me does not want to give up Serah. She’s amazing. And the voice echoes but you have to think of your child. I don’t know what to do and it just feels awful.

//c_Cae; adulting is hard, parenting is sometimes harder.

Big day for a little girl

The Dutchman and I have gotten a frequently asked question lately. People we meet keep asking whether Zoe has started walking. Ever since we started training her leg strength since she was five months (she’s one of those babies that doesn’t like being still, not even when she couldn’t roll around), we’ve kind of longed for her to be able to walk. Today, she did that. She walked all by herself! No need to add that we’re super-proud. She also said her name for the first time! So yeah, a lot of things happened today in her development.

I guess soon she’ll run around the apartment, being as reckless as ever. We’ve also noticed that she pretends to read stuff, and she even recognizes the letters A and T. Super-weird, but interesting nonetheless.

"And here, you see that there's important stuff written on it."
“And here, you see that there’s important stuff written on it.”

It’s hilarious!
As for school, things are tuning down a little bit, but hopefully only for a little while. You guys know me by now, I really don’t like slow paces. However, I hope the fly project is still on (since I haven’t been in the lab in forever). If not, I’m thinking I might get something else for my thesis. Life, it keeps giving me lemons, and I intend to make orange juice and have people wonder how I did it.

I’ve also noticed how people tend to jump to the conclusion that since I have a kid, it automatically makes me tired all the time. That’s not true, I’m only tired on days where I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Which are most nights when I decide to work until 1-2am, fully aware that I need to get up 4-5 hours later. I do it to myself, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I have a child. It’s like it’s a common conclusion people make when I’m sitting there being honest. Same thing when people tell me they need more than 2 days off every week. Being cleared of work is nice, I must admit, but only in moderate doses. When I told them, they’d never want to trade their everyday life with mine, they were all “but you’re a mom, that’s different. You kind of have to be busy all the time.” 

I do understand that motherhood comes first, but that shouldn’t be the reason as to why I am busy or tired. It’s like I’m being judged from just being a mom, and that it kind of makes me disqualified for things that I am besides being a mother. Oh well, I guess I can’t help how others think.

And my kindness toward people is paying off! Zoe wasn’t feeling well this morning and I had to stay at home, leaving my group by themselves. Thankfully, they understood my situation. I can’t express how thankful I am, but I’m sure they know. I have really adopted the “treat everyone equally, because you don’t know their story”. And it pays off! I’m loving it!

Yup, truly some words to live by.

//c_Cae; race against time! must wash hair before it gets too late~

On the go

I’m currently on the bus. Bumpy ride, and it’s just a little bit warmer than the outside. At least we don’t have to endure the harsh winds. 

So my presentation today sucked. Okay, it wasn’t that bad but I felt like I could’ve done a bit better.

Yesterday’s planning went well, but I still need to fit in a few things and while being caught up in it, I completely forgot to send off some mails. Must remember to do that later. Next stop is mine and I have to pick up kiddo from day care. Write you all later.

//c_Cae; that plot twist thing helped me get back! Game on, life!

Being a mom

Zoe went to sleep an hour ago and I’ve had some time for myself. Thing is, I’m starting to miss her. An hour is all it took and I miss her like she’s been gone forever.

The nights are getting easier. Last night, I got to sleep two or three consecutive hours! In comparison to our first night, that was awesome. I’m having headaches though, probably because of the four days of sleep deprivation prior, during and after the labor.

About the labor, it was normal I guess. My water broke at 4 am and we got to the hospital around five. 11 hours, one morphine dose, lots of nitrous gas and three pushes later, a little Zoe rests on my chest. And so here I am, three days later, living and loving the mommy life.

Our check up today went brilliantly. Not a squeak when blood samples were taken and that felt like the first proud moment I share with her.
Anyway, I’m getting so e rest before she needs to eat again. Cheers folks!

c_Cae; is this what they call separation anxiety

First night

I see a lot of curiosity among my readers so I might as well ease that feeling.

Last night was our first with little Zoe at home. She’s doing alright, she does what all babies do: eat, sleep, poop and cry. Although she kept me up all night, it didn’t matter. I kept gazing into her and couldn’t really grasp that she’s ours. Guess everyone feels that way as parents. Tomorrow is her first checkup at the hospital and I’m a little nervous about the car ride there. It’ll be fine, she just doesn’t like her little seat.

I’m off to gaze into our little bundle of joy now. Not really sure where we stand on publishing pictures of her on the internet. So far, I’ve only kept it here. We’ll see, must discuss this with the Dutchman. Laters folks!

//c_Cae; I never knew what love really was until I held her…

May I present to you

Little Zoe. Our little sunshine and definitely the proudest I have right now (and ever will have).


Watch out world, we’ve got a badass over here!

I’ll update later if I have the time and energy. After all, we did spend 14h in labor before she decided to actually come. To those who say love at first sight don’t exist, clearly have no children. And for those who say all they remember is the pain, I call bullshit.

//c_Cae; getting busy loving Zoe